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News ::
Bring the Troops Home Now! (english)
09 Nov 2003
October 25th Report Backs;
What's Next for the Peace Movement: The Launch of the Bring the Troops Home Now! Committees





October 25th Report Backs;What's Next for
the Peace Movement: The Launch of the Bring the Troops Home Now!
Committees
Dear VoteNoWar Member,
There are now two colliding realities. On the ground in Iraq
there is a mounting number of casualities at an alarming rate
-- for both US soldiers and Iraqis. The administration has been forced to
announce that 43,000 more reservists and national guard troops are being
called up and that they will be deployed to Iraq for a year long tour
of duty (New York Times, 11/6/03), in addition to another 42,000 active duty
servicemembers (“85,000 GIs Told They’re Heading to Iraq,” AP, 11/6/03). Rather
than heeding the call to end the occupation, the adminstration is actually
threatening to expand the conflict to other countires in the region,
particularly Syria and Iran. This is the reality of endless war and
occupation.
The other reality showed its growing power on October 25. October 25th was a day of optimism. A day of hope. And as
the media speculated, it was a rude political awakening for a White
House that is becoming increasingly reviled by the people of this
country. Thousands of VoteNoWar members joined the demonstration,
others couldn't attend but made generous donations to show their support for
this historic undertaking. The feedback in the past week indicated that this
mass action has given a big shot in the arm to those organizing to end
the Bush administration's criminal foreign and domestic policies.





100,000 people marched through the streets of
Washington, D.C. on October 25th in the largest anti-war protest since
George W. Bush's May 1 speech on the U.S.S. Lincoln aircraft carrier where
he proclaimed "Mission Accomplished." The demonstration continued
to grow throughout the day, reaching its peak only around 2:30 p.m., when
the last busses arrived in the area of the Washington Monument grounds. By
the time the front of the march reached the Justice Department the last
demonstrators were only leaving the assembly area. The march stretched
more than 20 city blocks filling them curb to curb including Pennsylvania
Avenue, Washington's eight lane boulevard.


November 3,
2003
Dear
VoteNoWar:I was at the stupendous Oct. 25 peace march in DC and
saw people passing out buckets for donations. However, my wallet was on
the bottom of my backpack which was on my back at the rally.

Enclosed is a check
to help defray the costs of organizing the rally. It was
awesome.
Sincerely,
MWTimonium,
MD





;
More than 500 newspapers and media outlets ran
articles about the demonstration. The three-hour long rally was
broadcast live on C-Span and re-broadcast several times since. CNN ran the
story about the demonstration for nearly 24 hours. The White House was
peppered by the media about the political significance of the re-emergence
of the peace movement and was even compelled to issue a feeble official
response to the appearance of 100,000 demonstrators surrounding the White
House to demand Bring the Troops Home.
It is particularly noteworthy that so many military families and
veterans joined the October 25th demonstration. Many
active duty soldiers were also participants. That is a true barometer
of how the soldiers and their loved ones are reacting as they learn with each
passing day that the war and occupation are entirely premised on lies and
deceit. It is also a good measure of the politically troubled waters
that Bush and company are sailing into as the criminal war and occupation is
rapidly evolving from quagmire to outright debacle. Soldiers are
willing to endure great hardship and sacrifice. But the thought of killing or
being killed for a lie, or in the case of this war many lies, is leading a
growing number of military personnel and their families to become the most vocal
critics of Iraq war. They want to come home now.
More than 145 cities participated in organizing
transportation, bringing busses and car caravans to the demonstration.
Interestingly the largest number of people came from medium and small
cities. A sister action in San Francisco drew 20,000 people into the
streets. There were also demonstrations in many local areas throughout the US on
October. Similar demonstrations on October 25 took place in 40 other
countries around the world.



The protest on October 25 focused on the Iraq occupation
but it had another central focus. Coming as it did on the second
anniversary of the passage of the so-called Patriot Act, the protestors
exposed Bush and Ashcroft's full scale assault on civil rights and civil
liberties. After the march went past the White House the streets
filled up around the Justice Department in what was the largest mass mobilization in opposition to the Patriot Act to
date.



What's Next for the Anti-War Movement: Bring the
Troops Home Now! Committees Forming
The next initiative for the antiwar movement was launched on October
25th with the announcement of the Bring the Troops Home Now!
campaign.




Please help launch this new
campaign in everyway that you can. Form a
Bring the Troops Home Now! Committee in your town or school - in the
coming days we will be providing a coordinating calendar
on the VoteNoWar website so that interested people can get in touch with
each other locally, as well as action kits for new
committees. We need your help to make this vision a powerful
reality - your financial contributions help us continue this important
work Please use
the secure server to donate on line by clicking here now, or to get
address information to send a check, click here.


The goal is to form local Bring the Troop Home Now! committees in hundreds of
cities, college campuses, high schools, unions, and religious
institutions. This is an exercise in classic grassroots democracy and it
will help to continue the dramatic re-shaping of the political climate.
Around the country, local Bring the Troops Home Now Committees are already
meeting and heading out into their
communities.



By engaging the broader population with the Bring the
Troops Home petition, by collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures,
by confronting all elected officials and candidates with the simple demand
that the occupation be brought to end -- this grassroots movement
will become an irresistible force impacting the political scene in a way
similar to that of the peace movement during the Vietnam war.


We will continue to demonstrate, rally and intervene everywhere, but the
Bring the Troops Home Referendum, available at the VoteNoWar.org site, is be
a simple method of engaging in a country-wide dialogue with
people in their communities, workplaces and schools. Millions of people are at
the beginning of their own political process. They have become convinced that
Bush lied and that thousands died. They are frustrated and angry with a
government that is transferring the social wealth of society from programs that
meet human need in order to finance a ghoulish vision of endless war, a
vision which benefits only the corporations that make super-profits from the
production of ever more lethal weapons. And an ever-growing number of people are
fearful that cherished rights are being ripped to shreds under the
banner of national security.
We have an opportunity, a challenge and an obligation to reach out to
this growing section of the population and help bring them into the movement for
peace, social justice and civil liberties.
Sincerely,
All of Us at VoteNoWar.org



See also:
www.votenowar.org
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